So, today my realtor got married. He and his bride went to the equivalent of the justice of the peace, but I was invited nonetheless. We went to the 4th floor of an old palazzo (palace) on the Grand Canal...what a treat since the general public doesnt get this opportunity. The view was fantastic. The ceremony was very casual and happy, lasting all of 15 minutes from beginning to end. I have noticed that simplicity is the norm here and I have a different perspective on American weddings now.
Obviously, I have not gone through an American wedding first hand but I know enough to know that it costs alot and creates much stress. There are no engagement rings with 2 carat diamonds--in fact, I havent even seen an engagement ring. The wedding rings in general for both are just simple gold bands--no platinum, etc. Here, the man can pull out a suit from a few years ago, change the tie, and the bride can buy a dress in the local store, pick up some flowers at the store along the way and they are ready to be married! They also walk to the place they are getting married (which is actually more fun because then the whole city knows what is happening!), take some pictures, say your I do's and then walk to a local osteria (bar) and drink prosecco (champagne like drink) while standing in a square. Probably costs $1000 at the most! So, all the money you save can go toward a nice honeymoon trip or something for your new home--another nice advantage. My realtor is heading off for 2 weeks in Malaysia!
Simplicity really is where its at....being in America, you have no idea how caught up you are in the marketing frenzie of bigger, better, faster. You lose track of your relationships and family because you are too busy going and doing or too broke because you are buying and paying. I sure hope I dont lose this perspective and I sure hope that America can figure it out soon.